A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is extremely violent and very graphic, with many gross, bloody deaths and behavior that's reckless to the point of insanity. Richard makes Al Capone look like a consensus-builder. Even most movie bad guys are not as out of control as Richard, who wildly shoots automatic weapons into crowds of civilians. Li made headlines the week before the film was released by recommending that parents not allow their children to see the movie, which is rated R for extreme and graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references and situations. This is good advice.
What's the story?
KISS OF THE DRAGON is about an evil policeman named Richard (Tchéky Karyo) who seems to be behind most of the crime in Europe. Richard runs prostitutes and deals in drugs. And when the Chinese government sends a representative to help investigate drug traffic into China, Richard kills his Chinese contact and frames the representative, whom he insists on calling "Johnny."
Is it any good?
Jet Li is always a pleasure to watch, even in this silly story about a Chinese spy befriended by an American prostitute on a mission in Paris. No longer the pretty boy in the equally silly but more romantic Romeo Must Die, this time, in a story he created, Li lets us see some chicken pox scars on his face and he lets us see him get knocked down a few times, too.
The movie's plot is, of course, just a thin excuse for extensive and sometimes inventive fight scenes, featuring lots of punching and kicking and also injury and death by grenade (which blows a guy in half), laundry irons (applied to faces), automatic weapons, chopsticks to the throat, a billiard ball to the head, and some tiny acupuncture pins with devastating effects. My favorite encounter was when Li, chasing through the police station, locks himself inside a room only to turn around and discover that he is facing a group of cops who are in a karate class.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: July 6, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: January 22, 2002
- Cast: Bridget Fonda, Jet Li, Max Ryan
- Director: Chris Nahon
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, language, some sexuality and drug content
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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